Zircon’s client is a household name in the railway signalling industry, and has developed a number of software packages that they continue to alter and improve over time. Additional functionality can be added through the development of additional software drivers. On this occasion our client’s engineers had developed two new drivers which were to be integrated into the core software product.
The core system is safety-related and developed in accordance with the EN 50128 standard to Safety Integrity Level 2 (SIL2), therefore the new drivers themselves were also required to meet EN 50128 SIL2. The SIL2 process requires that the software being tested must be tested by an individual that had not been a part of its development. Therefore, if our client wanted to keep the entire development process in house they would need to find an engineer that could not be related back to the development process.
Unfortunately for our client, they did not have the internal resources available at the time and took the decision to outsource the work to a third party, with Zircon being selected. Having worked with Zircon in the past, the client knew that we had the right level of understanding of the SIL2 process, their product line and could rely upon the quality of our engineers.
Once given the software by the client, our engineers took the original requirements and generated a number of tests to ensure that the drivers complied with the original plan and that the core software would not be adversely affected upon integration. Zircon engineers then carried out testing of the software in accordance with these plans.
Upon the conclusion of the tests, we provided the evidence to our client that the software had met the SIL2 standard and could be distributed to the end user.